NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

April 26, 2013

Canobie Lake Park prepares for opening

Canobie Lake Park reviews security, checks rides

After 111 years, some things never change at Canobie Lake Park.

When the Salem, N.H., park opens for the season tomorrow, there will be the usual excitement and smell of popcorn in the air.

After the attacks last week at the Boston Marathon, Canobie spokesman Chris Nicoli said this week that park officials are taking a closer look at security procedures to protect the thousands of guests expected to visit the park this year.

“Safety and security is of foremost importance,” he said. “We have numerous security (officers) at the park.”

Park personnel typically review security procedures at the start of each season, he said. But Nicoli said there is heightened awareness after three people were killed and approximately 260 injured near the marathon finish line April 15.

Nicoli said the security review is still taking place. Regardless, he said, he could not release any security details.

“As far as security, it might be something people don’t even notice,” he said.

Salem Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said his department conducts regular security reviews at Canobie and provides police details at the park to keep the public safe.

Security at the park was reviewed over the winter and after the attacks last week, he said.

Canobie “will remain an exciting, safe place to bring your family,” Patten said. “They have a good park security plan in place.”

Nicoli did say the park may increase its searches of bags, backpacks and other personal belongings.

Otherwise, Nicoli said, customers shouldn’t expect any major changes.

There is one change, the park’s newest attraction — The Equinox.

Introduced in October, just five days before the season ended, most Canobie regulars haven’t had the chance to test their nerves — or their stomachs — on the ride.

The attraction, which was purchased in London, features three large mechanical arms that lift riders 75 feet into the sky as they spin and swing. It’s just one of the park’s more than 85 rides and the newest since the arrival of the popular roller coaster, Untamed, two years ago.

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